Wednesday, August 1, 2012


As the candidates for president pluck each other’s words out of context and ignore the issues this country needs to face, I pick gobs of green beans and wonder how to squeeze more than 1% out of an investment. I know I should forget about the investment and focus on things that matter, such as relationships at home and in the nearby community, and green beans.

Hidden inside those little green things are tiny communities we ignore as we munch, as if it’s possible to be a vegan or vegetarian. We tend to overlook the things we’d rather not face, such as hugging our pets while eating animals bred and raised in hideous conditions -- or vegetables gathered by machines that squish baby deer and rabbits -- distributed and cooked as if they were industrial parts. Few of us take the time to nurture them, “harvest” them as humanely as we know how (as if we have any idea what it means to be raised for consumption and what it feels like to be terminated), and cook them with the tenderness they deserve, choosing instead industrial food from grocery freezers that can be zapped and eaten in less than 5 minutes, without taste and without tasting.

Meanwhile, the “bugs” that have resided in human stomachs for thousands of generations wonder what’s coming, something that doesn’t look at all like the food our ancestors ate and contains molecules, nay poisons, developed by firms that had to figure out what to make when the government no longer needed the bombs their founders designed (fertilizers and pesticides, bombs, same basic ingredients). Serfs to agricultural conglomerates buy expensive tractors that drive themselves with GPS systems so no one has to come close to the food parts that will be mixed without regard for nutrition and the tastes our grandparents enjoyed, no touchy, feely behavior, only meaningless platitudes, about caring for the land, water, air and future generations. We marched in the 1960s; that was then, this is now we give a few bucks to the Nature Conservancy and say we’ve done our share, let’s drive our grand-kids to McDonalds instead of cook them a fine dinner at home and nibble around a table while discussing matters of moment before playing a game of Scrabble.

“Hold on,” says Virginia. “I think you may have managed to alienate almost every reader.”

At least I stayed away from religion, didn’t I (for the most part)?

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